Ian Harmon

Guatemala

Vibrant colors, colonial architecture, and volcanoes. Not knowing much Spanish, this as my first solo trip (and first real foreign trip) was an adventure.

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One of the highlights was climbing the side of Pacaya Volcano. I took a day trip via my hostel and our tour was in the afternoon, so we caught golden hour and sunset on the way back. The light's interaction with the haze was really lovely. The hike wasn't too difficult, but it was strenuous enough to remind me to get back in shape.

The atmosphere and aesthetic at my hostel, and Antigua in general, was really great. If I went back, I would probably spend a couple weeks in that city.

On my way to Belize, I stopped in Flores for a couple days and took a trip to Tikal, which are the Mayan ruins where a familiar scene in Star Wars was filmed:

Previously I'd spent some time in San Pedro, on Lake Atitlan. The town is a bit claustrophobic, but has a nice atmosphere, with everything nestled on the hill.

Going from Antigua to Flores, I had to take an overnight double-decker bus from Guatemala City that felt like the size of a small building. Our navigating out of the city felt like threading a needle.

For some reason an hour or so into our trip, our driver suddenly pulled onto the wrong side of the highway and drove for a couple miles. Thankfully there wasn't anyone heading our way. We kept going until we came to this stop, where we realized the highway was temporarily shut down for construction, and we'd cut in front of probably 100 trucks.